3D graphic software for low cost, suggestions?

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3D graphic software for low cost, suggestions?

Postposted on Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:05 pm

Hi all,

My son has a hobby of drawing anime-style characters (that's what they look to me - actually they look like a cross between humanoid and pokemon). A couple of days ago he asked me about a 3D graphics software called Poser (don't know where that came from, maybe a school mate), and that he would like to try it. So I looked it up, but I think it's not really what he's looking for. Poser seem to be more for human figures. It probably is more detailed stuff than what he actually needs. However, it does seem to be a fairly easy to use piece of software. Oh and, there's also the price that is a bit too expensive for him, I would think. So next thing I did is look for free software. There seems to be decent alternatives, but I'm not sure about the ease of use. The thing is that he's autistic, and it shouldn't be too hard to learn if possible, otherwise he's just going to get frustrated at it. And yeah, I realize that there's probably none of those software that are truly easy to use, but maybe there are some that are easy enough for him. That and the fact that he seems motivated, so he might not mind the extra effort.

I know he wouldn't mind having to spend money for this, but of course $250 for Poser for example (or even $500 for the pro one), is a bit too much. So would anyone know of a 3D graphics software that would be either free or decently priced (below $100?), and know that it's an easier one to use? Like I said, he doesn't do detailed/realistic stuff, but more in animated-style.

Thanks.
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vince
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Re: 3D graphic software for low cost, suggestions?

Postposted on Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:40 pm

Google Sketch-up used to be free, I don't know what it is now?

edit - ashampoo has pretty good deals on their software, especially at the end of the year/newyear sale.
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Re: 3D graphic software for low cost, suggestions?

Postposted on Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:49 pm

SketchUp is a good introduction to the world of 3D modeling software, but I don't think it's going to be particularly useful for what Vince's son is wanting to do. I'd suggest getting Blender, which is a completely free, fully featured 3D modeling and animation suite. It has a bit of a learning curve to it, but it's capable of doing animation and high-quality rendering.
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Re: 3D graphic software for low cost, suggestions?

Postposted on Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:51 pm

Zarf beat me to it, I was gonna say:

http://www.blender.org/

This software is open-source, and there's a bunch of tutorials for it too in the education and help section:

http://www.blender.org/education-help/
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Re: 3D graphic software for low cost, suggestions?

Postposted on Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:04 pm

Oh, Blender looks very interesting indeed! And I really like the price too :wink:

I'll definitely have a look at that one. I will try it myself first, and if I can learn the basics of it, he probably can too. Or at the very least I'll be able to guide him.
Last edited by vince on Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3D graphic software for low cost, suggestions?

Postposted on Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:05 pm

If your son is in school you may be able to get academic pricing on commercial software like Poser. Sometimes this requires jumping through some hoops with the school, sometimes it needs nothing more than a valid .edu email address.
There may be limited-time trial versions as well, which would be worth trying to see if you think the money would be well-spent. (I had the first version of Poser a million years ago -- I'm certain I paid under $100 for it back in the day -- but I no nothing about it today).
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Re: 3D graphic software for low cost, suggestions?

Postposted on Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:13 pm

That's a good idea too UberGerbil, for the academic pricing.

For the trial of Poser, I did check it out, and it looks like they actually need a valid credit card for the trial, but I unfortunately do not have one. I was shocked at this, and disappointed. Since when you need a credit card for a trial software? I bet you it's because they hope people will forget to tell them they do not want to use the software (because that seems like it's what you HAVE to do), and then it'll get charged to their credit card by default (BTW, that would be illegal here in Quebec).
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Re: 3D graphic software for low cost, suggestions?

Postposted on Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:35 pm

Ancient bookmark. Uses the more modern version of Blender although the very latest versions of Blender will have some minor differences. Seems to be still valid;

http://gryllus.net/Blender/3D.html

The instructor is from Tufts U. You can download the vids or watch on line.

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